I love "painterly" colour and also see strength in form and composition via black and white. If I have a "vision", it is about a "sense of place or personality" - what, where, when - in my best work.
I have used Nikon "for ever", and have been digital almost from the beginning. That said, I have rediscovered my Leica, especially for street and black & white. I also love the creative versatility and freedom of the iPhone, and some images here are Olympus 4/3 rds.
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Category Archives: United Kingdom
Gray’s have apparently been taken a bit by surprise at how many D800 owners are trading in, as the improvements, whilst marked, seem modest. That said, the improvements touch every aspect of the camera’s use, and it feels different from the first shot. Nikon succeeded in making an already excellent camera better.
So I decided to take the D810 for a spin on the streets of Bath, where I have been doing a series on the very vibrant and varied street performer community. I used a 50mm F1.4 prime – which I have had since the days of the Nikon F4s film camera. It’s perhaps a bit softer than I would like, but a decent all-round lens.
The first thing I noticed was the subtle shift in ergonomics, with a more comfortable grip, and a marginally lighter camera than it’s predecessor. All in all, very comfortable to use. Modest changes to the control layout all seemed intuitive and a step forward, too. Internally, there’s a new 36.3MP chip, new shutter, Expeed 4 processor for 25% higher fps, and Nikon have eliminated the Optical Low Pass Filter, which should give technically sharper results.
The D810 was set on aperture priority, at 400ISO. I also used Nikon’s new Group Area AF mode – a 5 point array, positioned as needed. Other cameras have had such before, so it’s a bit surprising Nikon waited so long. But, better late than never (it’s used on the new Nikon D4s, too).
When shooting, the camera is faster … and much quieter, with the brand new shutter design. I don’t have the data, but it has to be the quietest DSLR around, and honestly seemed no more noisy than the Leica. So, a great street tool. Certainly, no one jumped at me, as sometimes people do when faced with an SLR and a monster zoom
The results are what counts, of course. All were taken RAW and then processed in Silver Efex Pro via Lightroom, my usual workflow.
I also shot indoors, which showed off the all round usefulness of the D810 in a candid situation.
It’s early days, but the verdict has to be “excellent”.
Nice job, Nikon.
Original colour images at mickyatesphotography.com
I have just been lucky enough to receive the three remastered Led Zeppelin albums – Led Zeppelin I, II and III.
I am listening to them now (on quite loud, of course), as it’s the only way possible to hear these ground-breaking works. Without doubt one of my very favourite bands, and I was lucky enough to see them in their heyday.
I took a few pictures of them with a very simple, plastic Hanimex 35mm camera. I think this was my first 35mm camera, as I only started using an SLR later that year.
They were taken at their first gig at Leeds University, in the Refectory on January 24th, 1970. The band had an enormous touring rate, yet still had amazing energy.
I was told by the University archive people that these are some of the only surviving images of that gig. They aren’t great images, despite trying to rescue them with today’s software! But I thought I’d share them.
I also just read an excellent article in Slate by Jack Hamilton – “Good Times Bad Times: Modern rock didn’t start with Dylan or the Beatles. It started with Zeppelin“
It’s a great read, for anyone interested in music, and the pictures are better too!
And if you haven’t caught up with this yet, get the Led Zeppelin II Remaster.
Lead guitarist Jimmy Page was always a good producer, so I am not sure how much better this remaster is on the final tracks. But the companion disc of outakes and early versions (especially of “Whole Lotta Love“) is superb listening.
Wandering around Hampstead yesterday, on a very pleasant and chilled Saturday, I came across this stylish lady collecting for the Children’s Hope Foundation.
She talked to everyone, catching some unawares, but always with a smile.
She had a canny way of talking to passers by, with an infectious personality and a positive word to say about everything.
And she had a style completely her own.
Leica M9 and Noctilux F/1.0 50mm, post processed in Color Efex Pro.
I am working on a project to capture the amazing diversity of street life and art in Bath.
Bath is an old city, yet one steeped in today. It is a mix of sixties hippies, tourists and young people having fun. It is a city of the arts, of buskers of all kinds.
The “Living Statue” is a local favourite.
This weekend I got into conversation with our “Living Statue”. His name is Stevan Mortensen, and he’s originally from Ecuador.
Stevan used to live in Cardiff, but now he calls Bath home.
Stevan told me he is working on a “blue” idea, set up high, which will take a couple of months to get right.
It will complement his gold and white statues.
The ‘gold’ Stevan has a neat trick with water pouring from his “hands” into a cup and back again.
Can’t wait for the ‘blue’!
More pictures of the Bath street scene here
For May, it is all about “Figure and Ground“.
“You need to capture a street scene where there is a strong and distinct FIGURE, and a distinct and supporting GROUND. If you prefer an other wording for the same, you need to take a picture with a strong SIGNAL and a low level of VISUAL NOISE. Think of a piece of music. You can’t hear the flute unless the rest of the orchestra holds back. In this challenge you are the conductor and so you must make that happen. The FIGURE should consist of ONE PERSON ONLY. It needs to have a size and a visibility that makes it the NATURAL FIGURE without discussion. In addition, you will give the FIGURE a clear BREATHING SPACE that helps define it in the picture”.
Here’s my submission. And see mickyatesphotography
Bristol, Leica M9-P, Elmarit-M 28mm, Silver Efex Pro
Tried some other treatments, too, in Silver Efex Pro. First, high contrast:
Then, finer, silvered:
And, finally, cropped